Grand Designs


A Winter Park professional gets to know the artist–grandfather he never met by collecting the man’s illustrations.

 



Chris Raleigh
Chris Raleigh has a collection of his grandfather’s works at home 

Chris Raleigh never met his paternal grandfather, but he has spent the last 20 years getting to know him as a legendary illustrator for such magazines as the The Saturday Evening Post, Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar.

Henry Patrick Raleigh, born in 1880, was known for his illustrations of serialized stories and spent much of his life in New York City high society. Having started his career in San Francisco, illustrating fires, hangings and other dramatic events for The Examiner newspaper, he moved on to magazines and books.  His profile grew considerably in 1916 when he illustrated a series of stories for H.G. Wells.

“He was one of the top illustrators in The Saturday Evening Post, which was the top market for illustrators of that time,” says Walt Reed, founder of Illustration House gallery in New York City and author of Great American Illustrators.  “He had a distinct style based on his news work.”

 Like his paternal grandfather, Chris Raleigh has put his own creative stamp on his life’s work. A Winter Park-based interior designer, Raleigh has worked on such notable projects as the Pleasure Island Jazz Company, Lombardi’s Landing and, perhaps best known of all his efforts, the Hard Rock Café in Orlando, with its 340-foot-long Stratocaster guitar.

Raleigh, 62, began seriously researching his grandfather’s work in the late 1980s. In 1989, right before he was to marry, Illustration House in New York offered to sell him roughly a dozen of Henry Raleigh’s works. Facing impending wedding costs, he regretfully declined.

However, his secretary sent out notes to every wedding guest telling them of the collection. On their wedding day, Raleigh and his wife were surprised with a collection of Henry Raleigh’s work.  After that, the grandson was hooked.

“I started looking everywhere for Henry Raleighs,” Raleigh says. “It also made me reconnect with all the family members I hadn’t seen in a long time.”

He currently has more than 100 illustrations and the magazine stories connected to about 75 percent of those illustrations. Still, all of that is a drop in the bucket considering Henry Raleigh had 20,000 published works to his name by age 50. 

All this inspired Chris Raleigh to write a book. He says it will be heavy with his grandfather’s art, and it also will incorporate the life of the man he so admires but knows only by reputation. 

“Hearing about my grandfather, it gave me a very strong work ethic. He was a perfectionist,” Raleigh says. “During the Depression he accumulated vast amounts of money and fame—a rare combination for an artist.”

Edit Module
Want to read the whole issue? Download and read this issue and others on Magzter.

Add your comment:
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags

Guides & Resources

2017 Premier Veterinarians

The 2017 Pet Guide: Pet Resource Guide

Here are some of the places you can go in Central Florida when you need supplies, products and services for your best friends.

Premier Realtors 2017

Let Orlando's best realtors help you find your dream home!

Orlando's Best Lawyers 2017

Our annual list includes hundreds of Orlando-area attorneys in dozens of areas of practice.

Orlando's Top Dentists of 2017

Our annual list featuring 224 of the area's finest dental professionals.

Guide to Private Schools 2017

Our searchable annual database will help you chart an educational course for your family.

2016 Premier Doctors

Our annual list of over 500 doctors.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

MoreRecent Blog Posts

Weekend Happenings Nov 17 to 19

Know what's happening in and around Orlando for the weekend.

Weekend Happenings Nov 11 to 12

Know what's happening in and around Orlando for the weekend.

Weekend Happenings Nov 3 to 5

Know what's happening in and around Orlando for the weekend.

Turn Shoes into Money

How your fundraiser can help families in developing nations.

Weekend Happenings Oct 27 to 29

Know what's happening in and around Orlando for the weekend.
Edit Module